The Torrent Engine Company was formed on April 19, 1844 in the Fairbanks Village Schoolhouse as the first official fire company for the town of St. Johnsbury. The company was located in Mechanics Square in the former Fairbanks Village, located on the Sleepers River in the southwest corner of the town. The company was organized to protect the Fairbanks Scales Works as well as the entire village of St. Johnsbury.
Founding members included Noah Eastman - Foreman; Mark C. Webster - Assistant and, Charles Fairbanks - Secretary and Treasurer. Other members through the years included A.P. Blunt - Foreman, 1853-1854 and Franklin Fairbanks - Foreman, 1854 - 1855.
The following is an excerpt form the book, The Town of
St. Johnsbury, by Edward T. Fairbanks - Published 1914.
In 1860 Torrent No. 1 was equipped with a new engine built in Pawtucket; the tub was 23 feet long, of mahogany and rosewood inlaid with pearl, and with silver lettering. The cylinder was 10 inches caliber, and threw three streams at a time. The men came out in new frocks of red, trimmed with blue; tri-collerd rolling collars; belts inscribed St. Johnsbury, white lettered on red ground; fire caps New York style, marked Torrent No. 1.
On July 4 that year the Torrent with 30 men, Franklin Fairbanks, Foreman, executed the best work in a trial at Montpelier and took the prize of $125. They made an excursion to Burlington and Montreal. Burlington papers remarked: "Too much cannot be said in praise of the Torrent Company of St. Johnsbury. Their excellent drill, determined and resolute look, their great strength and devotion to duty, maker them the pride not of their village only but also of the state."